| From My Table |

From My Table

Fresh and Dried

An acquaintance of mine was telling me recently how she struggles once her kids come home from school. This is her usual routine: When her kids walk through the door, she says each kid’s name as part of their greeting, puts her arm around the kid, and promptly gets them a snack, all the while giving the kid full attention. She’s very efficient (the adult version of a goody-goody), and I can picture the scene in my head. It’s all very much by the book.

But, she told me, her kids still seem unsettled and needy, and she’s not sure why, if she’s scrupulously checking off all the coming-home-from-school-routine boxes. “Maybe I need to put a little more heart into it,” she mused. I tend to agree. Some of us have a collection of formalities, what we're 'supposed' to do, but it's not always taking the recipient and their needs into account. This is a phenomenon I’ve definitely seen in other contexts as well. Sometimes we feel obligated to bring someone a gift, but it’s more about checking off the box than about building and nurturing the relationship. When we take the “rules” out, we can use our intuition more and sense what the recipient (or the child, as in the previous case) can use in that moment, and turn the gift into a real moment of connection.

This week, we have a delicious collection of baked goods, perfect for gifting. But if you do choose to gift one of them, strip the formalities, add some heart, and don’t be surprised by the effect you’ll see it having on the recipient.


It’s really the easiest thing to make oven-dried tomatoes. All you need is thinly sliced tomatoes (any kind) and some parchment paper. Dry them on a low temp till they’re fully dried out. Once they’re done, drizzle generously with olive oil and stash them in the fridge.

The rule of thumb is that 1 tsp dry herb = 1 Tbsp fresh herb = 1 cube frozen herb.

However, if you’re using a large amount of a dry herb, you might want to go lighter on it.

(Psst, quick review: there are 4 Tbsp in 14 cup. Multiply up from there.)

Also, if you have a package of fresh herbs that are starting to wilt, put them in the freezer to stick into a soup one day.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 717)

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